The Water Park
Joey and Carla Link
July 24, 2019
Have you taken your kids to a water park or the beach this year? There is no better place to evaluate your 11-15 year old sons to see where their eyes wander and what they do to bring them under control. Not exactly what you thought this blog would be about we are sure, but it needs to be discussed.
Jesus was very clear in his Sermon on the Mount when He said “But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts.” (Matthew 5:28) And this was in front of over 5000 people! He was speaking about a married or betrothed man. But when teens and unmarried young adults are lusting, they are not being faithful to their vow of purity.
Lust is not just a guy thing however, teen girls do it too! Just listen to what they talk about and then look at how they walk, dress and act to try and draw the eye of a young man to them.
I (Joey) remember the time I took our family to a water park. As I was walking with my son, I realized there were a lot of teen girls in bikini’s walking by. I noticed the perfect teaching opportunity, so I took advantage of it and talked to my son about what he shouldn’t be looking at. You need to be watching for these moments as well because Satan is on the prowl to steal the good you are working on with your kids away from you and God. Think of yourselves as your children’s shepherds, giving them room to roam but ever watchful to use your staff to draw them back in when they get too far afield.
Kids today are bombarded through the internet, billboards, movies and TV commercials that jump start their imagination that propels their curiosity to say “show me more!”
David asked God this question in Psalm 119:9, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” He answered it himself in the second part of the verse when he said, “By living according to Your Word.” It’s like one of our kids saying, “I know, I know, I need to think about how God wants me to stay pure for marriage.” Well, if they know, why aren’t they doing it?
We know the answer to that question. It is because at times the temptation overpowers us. Still, that doesn’t make lusting outside of marriage right. That’s why I said I could see he needed help so I got up and went over to him.
The lust of the eyes is a very powerful agent that wise parents watch for with their kids. You need to be willing to spend hours, days, weeks and months training and protecting your kids from being exposed to seeing things that can be harmful for them. You don’t need to be a helicopter parent and hover over them but rather think about what you would say to your kids if the sun was too bright. You would tell them not to look at the sun for a long time or at an eclipse as it will damage the retina in their eyes. You tell them to get sunscreen on whether they want to or not so their skin isn’t damaged and to wear hats and sunglasses. Lusting after the flesh will damage their hearts.
What did I do with my son at the waterpark? I confirmed what he was seeing. I said “There sure is a lot of skin around here” and he said “there sure is!”I don’t think he had ever seen that many girls with that little clothing on.
Next, I said “Let’s see how many girls wear nail polish on their toes and what color is most popular.” Retraining a child’s eyes and refocusing their minds is helping protect them from what they are dealing with at the moment. You don’t have to have big long lectures or talks; they already know what the problem is and what they should do about it. There are moments like this one that they need your help to redirect them from the temptation they are being sucked into.
If you have girls that are tempted to wear swimsuits or other clothing that will draw a boy’s eye to them to lure them into temptation, moms need to use this as an opportunity to train them in the way they should go. I (Carla) was in the dressing room with my teen daughter while she was trying on clothes. When she would put an outfit on, I would have her close her eyes then open them looking straight ahead in the mirror. I asked her what she saw first, and it was always her chest. I told her that is what all the guys she knew would see first when they looked at her too. She had no problem dressing modestly after that!
Jesus said in Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
It is appalling what some kids from Christian families are wearing in pictures they put on Facebook. From low necklines to bikinis, there is a whole lot of skin showing. Guys have enough trouble seeing non-followers of Christ wearing lustful clothing so we encourage you moms to not let your Christ-following daughters cause Christian brothers to stumble by lusting after them because of the clothes they wear.